Workers under attack Down Under
The Australian Food and Grocery Council is calling on the Australian Government to make sweeping changes to employment law to allow greater flexibility. The targets are workers’ extra rates for working holidays and weekends, wages and conditions, a pay loading on the hourly rate for casual workers and ‘union militancy’. On average,labour costs are 30% higher than in New Zealand and the employer prescription is to close the gap by reducing the incomes of Australian workers. Heinz and McCains are two TNC’s who have transferred production to NZ in recent years, destroying permanent jobs in favour of precarious work in the process. IUF affiliates in Australia and New Zealand cooperate in the ‘Trans Tasman Food and Beverage group’. By sharing information on bargaining strategies and outcomes and developing solidarity actions, affiliates unite New Zealand and Australian workers in a common struggle to fight for their rights and to lift and protect incomes.